The 5 Most Egregious Things to Happen at City Council Tonight:
Tonight was the "Public Hearing" on 1548-2016. Thanks to everyone who came out. For those who missed it, here were the five most egregious things to happen...
5: Teeny Tiny Room
Seriously, did they look for the smallest room possible? There was room in the hearing, counting standing room, for maybe 60 people.
4: Dozens Locked Out
Because City Council choose such a small location, dozens who wanted to attend were locked out of the building.
3: City Police Officer Lied
Columbus police officer Nicole, who occasionally worked as a private duty police officer at Founder's, told city council members of her experiences with volunteers. One anecdote that she shared was that volunteers would lie to women by telling them that the abortion clinic had employed a known sex offender, when that was not true. Except, it was true. Read all about it here: http://www.gcrtl.org/blog/abortion-provider-indicted-on-child-pornography-charges
Note: updated post includes a link at the bottom of this entry to the full hearing. You can watch Officer Nicole lie about this at the 1:05:27 point.
2: Public Testimony Limited
Although billed as a public hearing which would allow proponents and opponents of the proposal to testify for/against the law in 3-minute, alternating witness statements, City Council filled the time with member statements, a presentation from their attorney, and the statements of one officer mentioned above. In total, only about fifteen minutes of the 5:30-7:00pm hearing were allotted to opponent speakers.
1: It Was All A Farce
It was all a farce anyway, and it was obvious that this was little more than for-show hearing. City Council already showed its hand that it intends to act on this proposal next Monday.
We aren't going to let it happen without trying to stop it, though.
In in less than a week, we have gathered thousands of postcards from opponents of the proposed law, and more than 500 have signed our petition (www.gcrtl.org/city-council). Join us!
Watch the full hearing. To skip to the part where Officer Nicole lies about an abortion doctor being charged as a sex offender, forward to the 1:05:27 mark when Councilwoman Brown asks her about her experiences.
On Monday, June 9th, more than 700 gathered to hear Abby Johnson at the Greater Columbus Right to Life Spiritus banquet. Abby famously left her position as the clinic director for one of Planned Parenthood’s largest abortion affiliates in October of 2009, the day she was asked to assist with an ultra-sound guided abortion. Abby, in an instant, saw the truth behind all the lies she had been telling women for nearly a decade. Since then, she has been traveling the world sharing her story, exposing the reality of abortion and abortion giant Planned Parenthood, and helping hundreds to heal from the deep wound caused by abortion. Over the last two years, she has helped more than 100 former abortion clinic employees to leave the industry.
Beth Vanderkooi, executive director of Greater Columbus Right to Life, shared, “We brought Abby to Columbus because we are seeing many of the same things here in Columbus that led to her radical conversion of heart: the commitment to peaceful and loving prayer at area clinics, the development of a sidewalk counselor program, and the movement within churches and communities to reach out to women in need and say ‘There is a better choice.’”
Abby’s 45-minute speech was heart-wrenching and somber, but also funny and warmhearted. Mincing no words, she recited the abortion procedure protocol at Planned Parenthood – everything from the blind-nature of the vacuum aspiration procedure to the “POC” (products of conception) room where clinic staff members reassemble the contents of the uterus in an effort to make sure the abortion doctor did not leave any part of the baby behind. Abby encouraged the Christian faithful not to think of abortion as a problem that exists outside the church, reminding the crowd that most people having abortions are Christians, noting: “I cannot tell you the number of women who would read their Bibles and pray before having an abortion, or the number who would be laying down in the recovery chairs, hunched down, grasping their rosaries with tears running down their cheeks after the procedure. I was in church the Sunday before my abortion, and I was in church the Sunday after my abortion.”
One attendee commented, “Abby said that as she watched the baby on the ultrasound, she realized it wasn’t a blob of cells or a ‘product of conception’ but a baby who was about to die, and yet she just stood there and let it happen, not unlike how society just stands there and lets it happen. That really hit home for me. Abortion exists because we, the Church, let it. We can stop it, but we do not.”
Jennifer H., a parishioner at Church of our Lady who is active in sidewalk and music ministry and organizes sidewalk prayer for Pick-life, said: “I was just so inspired by the entire night; words cannot describe it. I was especially impacted by the challenge to become more active in our church, in our community, and to thank our clergy for their courage to stand up for the unborn. Everyone was inspired and challenged to make a difference, and at least one woman expressed the courage to go through HEART (a post-abortion recovery and healing program). We need the courage to speak out about abortion – not just that it is evil, but that the church provides a way for healing and reconciliation and forgiveness.”
For those who missed the Spiritus banquet but are interested in hearing Abby’s message, video highlights and photographs will be available over the next few weeks; we’ll share those as soon as we receive them from our photographer and videographer. It also isn’t too late to send a contribution to help make this the most successful fundraiser in our history!
Alycia Hartley is a one of our amazing sidewalk counselors at GCRTL. She can often be found at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic (3255 E Main St) praying for the women and the workers inside the clinic or offering encouragement to visit the prolife pregnancy help center across the street. Alycia is working to enter into religious life in the next few months with the Sisters of the Congregation of the Divine Spirit, a Catholic religious order that works in the education of children and the care of the elderly. Since Alycia will soon be moving, we thought we’d share her story as the May Volunteer spotlight of the month. Below, she shares – in her own words, why she became involved with the GCRTL Sidewalk program.
I still remember as a kid, hearing the word “abortion” on TV often, and not knowing what it meant. Finally, I asked my mom what this mysterious word meant as it was mentioned on a news segment. Her frank reply was that this word “abortion” meant killing a baby when it was still in its mother's belly. I asked her how this could be allowed, and she again bluntly replied, “I don't know.”
As I became older, I remembered what abortion was, and the truth of what it really was. As my eyes were opened to how horrific abortion is, in its procedure and number of victims, I felt a strong pull to do something significant to end this tragedy. The reality of abortion became all too real for me one day, when before the Ohio 20-week abortion ban, I saw a very young woman with a large “baby bump” enter the abortion mill to terminate her pregnancy. This was shocking for me to see, but I began to realize there really isn't a difference between this advanced pregnancy and someone only several weeks pregnant. Both pregnancies contain a life that must be cherished and protected.
When I learned about GCRTL's Sidewalk Counselor Training program, I knew that this would be a real, tangible way to reach out to women in need, and hopefully save them and their babies from a horrible choice.
During the course of the GCRTL SWC program I have been witness to, and told of, great things that are happening on the sidewalks of Columbus's abortion mills. The SWC program is definitely changing lives, and I am sure it will only continue to do so as more heroic pro-lifers work as SWCs to end this injustice.
Thank you, Alycia, for the many hours that you have dedicated to helping build a culture of life here in our community! You will be missed greatly.
If you’d like to learn more about Alycia’s decision to enter into religious life, you can visit her Aspirant page online.
Today has been an interesting email day. I've received several emails from Christian and citizens' rights organizations reminding me that today is the day that American citizens lost our right to the free practice of our faith.
August 1, 2012 - beginning today businesses that offer health insurance are required to include free birth control, sterilizations and abortifacient drugs in that coverage. As of today, the 'home of the free and the brave' denies her citizens the freedom to say "No" to helping their employees kill their pre-born children through the use of abortifacient drugs and the right to say "No" to paying for non-essential medicines that are contrary to their church's teaching on birth control.
The story of the Newland family in Denver, Colorado, who were granted an injunction saving them from having to choose between their faith and their ability to maintain their family business provides at least a measure of hope. This ruling does not apply to all businesses, but it does set a precedent for future lawsuits. The Newland's attorney Matthew Bowman explained that the principle behind the ruling this way: "Washington bureaucrats cannot use Obamacare to force people of faith to violate their faith in order to earn a living or engage in other activities in society." Mr. Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, expects more lawsuits and more wins to follow, and that's good news.
Of course, that's our take on it.
Cecile Richards sees things differently. I got an email from her today, too. Not surprising, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America president is celebrating because she interprets the HHS mandate as giving freedom, not taking it. According to Ms. Richards, this loss of our constitutionally protected freedom to follow our faith without fear of government intervention and massive fines that will cripple business owners and force them out of business is a win for women because
". . . more women have the power to plan their families (as if the birth control pill is the only way a women could manage to plan her family)
. . . there will be fewer unintended pregnancies (because none of us have ever known someone who conceived a child or who was conceived while his/her mother was taking contraceptives)
. . . there will be reduced need for abortion (even though abortion rates have increased with increased access to birth control, not decreased)"
(comments in italics mine)
Ms. Richards is concerned though. She knows about the Newland family's injunction too and tells her followers that "the fight isn't over".
She's right about that. We're not done fighting.
I have to give her credit though. Ms. Richards and her marketing crew at Planned Parenthood are good at taking opportunities like this and turning them into money makers. Her email, which went to I have no idea how many thousands of people across the U.S., is basically a call to donate. She asks her followers to "make a gift in honor of the women who gained that freedom today. Give the cost of a pack of pills - that's about $35." I shudder to think how much money the abortion-giant will raise from that one email blast.
Yes, Ms. Richards is right. The fight to protect our freedom of religion is not over.
Over the past several months Greater Columbus Right to Life has been privileged to lead two rallies in defense of those freedoms and help raise awareness and educate the public on this issue, and we will continue to fight to protect all of our rights. We will also continue to fight to defund Planned Parenthood in the State of Ohio.
I am going to take a page from Ms. Richards' play book, though, and ask you to stand with Greater Columbus Right to Life in this fight. We don't get millions of dollars of government funding. In fact, we don't get one single penny of government funding! One hundred percent of our funding comes from people like you who believe, as we do, that life begins at conception and should be protected from that moment through the moment of natural death.
Will you join us for a lovely dinner at the Villa Milano on August 19? Our Spiritus Banquet is our annual fund raising dinner and your presence there would be a great blessing to us! We'll have lasagna, salad, bread rolls, steamed vegetables, and my favorite - the Villa Milano's delicious layer cake with raspberry filling. You'll get to hear the incredible testimony of a woman who survived a saline-infusion abortion and how God has called her to use her voice speak for those whose voices - and very lives - were stripped from them in abortion. You will be so blessed by Melissa Ohden's joy and love for life and family. Dinner registration is just $25 and 100% of proceeds for the evening will fund our educational foundation - the fund through which at least 80% of our work is accomplished.
Register today - and invite a friend to join you as well.
God bless you, and thank you for standing with us for Life.